Bowel Cancer UK considers heavy job cuts amid Covid-19 pandemic income drop

Health charity Bowel Cancer UK is considering cutting four out of ten jobs amid income losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The charity has suffered income losses of almost 40 per cent due to the outbreak, leaving a similar proportion of staff at risk of redundancy.

Bowel Cancer UK employs 62 staff, in offices in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff as well as home based workers in Northern Ireland.   

A consultation has now launched following a strategic review undertaken by the charity aimed at focusing its resources where they can have the “greatest impact”, according to the charity statement.

The 30-day consultation process started on 20 July.

“Bowel Cancer UK has begun a redundancy consultation with staff today (Monday 20 July) because of a huge loss of income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Around 40 per cent of its staff are at risk of redundancy in the coming weeks,” said the charity.

The job losses consultation follows a cost saving programme early during the outbreak which saw half its staff furloughed.

The 40 per cent drop in income is being forecast for the charity’s financial year, which runs from January to December. This equates to a shortfall of £1.5m on its 2020 budget of £4.2m. Bowel Cancer UK estimates to will take up to five years to recover to pre-pandemic levels of income.

The charity’s chief executive Genevieve Edwards said: “We’re a small yet vital charity supporting thousands of people affected by bowel cancer, and we have lost around 40 per cent of our income practically overnight.    
“We moved swiftly at the start of the pandemic to safeguard our charity and, despite the challenges, have remained focused on meeting the needs of people with bowel cancer throughout. I'm so proud of how we’ve been able to pivot our services quickly and innovate in difficult circumstances to make a real difference to people when they need us most. 
“But with a huge drop in income, and no other government assistance, we’re now sadly in a position where we have no choice but to make permanent cuts to our staff base, which is devastating for everyone at the charity and the bowel cancer community.”

A number of charities are looking at major cuts amid income losses during the Covid-19 pandemic. Last week Cancer Research UK announced plans to cut 500 jobs and reduce spending on research.

Earlier this month the National Council for Voluntary Organisations warned that the charity sector is set to shrink in the short-term, employ less staff and be left vulnerable through an increasing reliance on public donations.

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